Recep Tayyip Erdogan: “Turkey will not give up Karabakh”

Recep Tayyip Erdogan: “Turkey will not give up Karabakh”
# 13 May 2009 15:03 (UTC +04:00)
“We have brought greetings and love of your seventy million brothers. Greetings from Ankara to Baku, from Istanbul to Lachin, from Bursa to Shirvan from Izmir to Aghdash. Brotherhood and solidarity between Turkish and Azerbaijani peoples continued for better and for worse, at war and at peace. We rejoiced together, grieved together, fought together when necessary. We have firm relations. We have similar language, belief, customs and culture. All through the history we listened to similar tales, were brought up with similar songs, performed similar dances. As Ataturk said during Bolshevik occupation in 1920, we share Azerbaijan’s grief and happiness. I would like to mention that the founder of Azerbaijani state Mahammad Amin Rasulzadeh was buried in Ankara,” he said.

Erdogan said read the poems about friendship and brotherhood between the two countries by Azerbaijani poet Bakhtiyar Vahabzadeh and famous Turkish poet Yavuz Bulent Bakiler. The head of the government said the relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan could not be compared with the relations of any other two states.
“We will not allow anybody to make Azerbaijan-Turkey relations a theme of dispute. But unfortunately, we witnessed some attempts aiming to cast shadow on our brotherhood. It was storm in a teacup. A news article posted on a website in February caused this. It was written that Turkey gave up stipulation of Karabakh to normalize the relations with Armenia. First of all, I want to say it is a slander even to utter that Turkey gave up Karabakh. I refute this slander. We made statements concerning this news several times. I expressed our position before the local media in our parliament and before the international media in London while attending G-20 summit. Despite this, false reports continued up to the campaign against Turkey. There is a rule in diplomacy, a process is not publicized until it reached certain stage. It does not mean to hide anything. For example, the negotiations held within the framework of the Minsk Group are not made public. Turkey-Armenia talks do not differ in this respect, either. Whom should you believe – a Prime Minister or a website?

Erdogan said closing of Turkey-Armenia borders had a connection of cause-consequence. “While Karabakh was fully occupied by Armenia, we closed the Turkey-Armenia borders. The borders will be opened after the ending of this occupation. It is impossible without agreement with Azerbaijan. We are following the thoughts that we had while coming to power. Late Heydar Aliyev’s principle of “one nation-two states” is a basis of our relations and it is unchangeable. The Karabakh problem should be resolved within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan”.

Erdogan called the recent misunderstanding in the Turkey-Azerbaijan relations as “communicatory constraint”. He said they would prefer the direct contacts with the Azerbaijani leadership to avoid such misunderstandings. “It is wrong to communicate via media”.

The Turkish Prime Minister said they would never make steps in the relations with Armenia to damage the interests of Azerbaijan. “We will never be indifferent to the interests of Azerbaijani people. I am telling you. Everyone knows that normal relations between Turkey and Armenia are impossible before the ending of occupation. Peace and stability in the south Caucasus is not possible without the solution of Karabakh problem”.

Erdogan ended his speech with the hemistiches from the national anthems of Azerbaijan and Turkey.
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